WASHINGTON — Supreme Court decisions that barred states from imposing mandatory life-without-parole sentences aren’t affecting the District of Columbia.

That’s because city law has prohibited life-without-parole sentences for juveniles for decades.

In Washington, a law that outlines the punishment for first-degree murder says that anyone under 18 who commits murder can’t be sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Juveniles can still be sentenced to long prison terms as a result of serious crimes or multiple charges. These can effectively be life sentences.

A city law does allow people who committed crimes as juveniles and who have served at least 20 years in prison an opportunity to have their sentences reviewed. The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth says more than 100 former teen offenders are immediately affected.


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